“US House China Committee War-Games Taiwan Invasion: High-Stakes Scenario Planning in Action!”

Axios reported that the House China Select Committee will be war-gaming a scenario in which China invades Taiwan this week. This event presents a unique opportunity for bipartisan members of Congress to discuss possible challenges and identify the best legislative responses to deter and combat an invasion.

On Wednesday evening, bipartisan members of the House panel on China, led by Chair Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), will step into the shoes of US officials in a war-game simulation conducted by the Center for a New American Security, a Washington-based think tank focused on national security.

The geopolitics of this potential conflict are intensifying, and it is widely acknowledged that a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would likely involve the US, as well as possibly Japan, Australia, and Britain. Such an event could dwarf the Ukraine crisis both in scale and danger posed to the international order. The US has been increasingly warning that an attack is probable and feasible.

The war-game scenario will provide crucial insights into possible diplomatic, economic, and military responses that could help the US and its allies in the Indo-Pacific region deal with the ever-growing threat posed by China. It will also likely explore potential triggers for an invasion, such as internal political dynamics in China, economic motives, and ideological factors.

The war-game will help the involved parties identify the best countermeasures to prevent China’s aggression from escalating, especially in a landscape dominated by growing great-power rivalry and military buildups. Some avenues for discussion could include doubling down on diplomatic efforts with regional partners, enhancing military cooperation, and fostering economic and technological alliances with nations that face similar challenges from China.

Taiwan has long been seen as a flashpoint for potential conflict with China, as the latter continues to assert territorial claims over the island nation. China has ramped up saber-rattling tactics in recent years, mainly through naval drills and air incursions in Taiwan’s airspace. In response, the US has increased support for Taiwan, providing the island with military equipment and actively engaging in efforts to deepen diplomatic ties.

In October 2021, the Biden administration announced new arms sales to Taiwan, worth around $2.2bn. The deal includes 40 ground-based M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System launchers, which would significantly bolster Taiwan’s military capabilities. Defending the deal, the White House argued that the arms package would help Taiwan maintain its self-defense capabilities and contribute to regional stability, despite protests from Beijing.

The potential for conflict with China over Taiwan is not a new concern, but the current geopolitical context has heightened the risks of such a scenario. China is more powerful, assertive, and technologically advanced than ever before, and its leaders, particularly President Xi Jinping, have shown greater willingness to use force to advance their goals.

Moreover, the US and its allies fear China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, prompting their efforts to shore up defenses and prepare for any eventuality. For instance, in September 2021, the US, UK, and Australia announced the formation of the AUKUS defense pact, a significant initiative aimed at increasing military collaboration and information sharing among the three countries in light of China’s rising power.

However, the potential costs of a possible conflict with China over Taiwan are immense, making a diplomatic resolution of the issue more desirable for all concerned parties. A major confrontation between China and a coalition of the US, Japan, Australia, and the UK could have widespread regional consequences, from damage to critical infrastructure and civilian populations to economic disruption and ecological devastation. It would almost certainly retract from years of diplomatic effort to build and maintain peace in the region.

In conclusion, the war-game scenario organized by the House China Select Committee presents an important opportunity for US policymakers to better understand the potential challenges and consequences associated with a Chinese invasion of Taiwan. By exploring various response measures and identifying the best possible legislative and diplomatic tools to address this issue, Congress can take a proactive approach in managing the tensions between China and Taiwan, thereby contributing to the overall security, stability, and welfare of the Indo-Pacific region.


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